As a professional field, IT is both expansive and deep. Depending on your line of business, your IT department can either be handling a small fleet of desktops with productivity software, or it could be maintaining floors filled with workstations and large server rooms. Small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), in particular, are often hard-pressed to cover all of IT’s bases, such as:
- Hardware maintenance and repairs;
- Software updates and upgrades;
- Network monitoring and systems administration;
- Cybersecurity protection;
- Data backups; and
- Data regulations compliance.
Since businesses run on IT, it follows that IT departments are integral to business operations. This is especially evident when the department is swamped with tasks or has to deal with downtime — the company tends to slow down with them. This is why augmenting your IT department’s resources with those of a managed IT services provider (MSP) is a wise strategy.
Wait, won’t there be redundancies or butting of heads between internal and external teams?
No and no. Top-notch MSPs do thorough consultations with their clients first to ascertain what the latter need in terms of IT support. To avoid redundancies and butting of heads, MSPs and IT departments work together to come up with strategies on how to improve processes and help achieve business growth.
Commonly, MSPs take on repetitive yet important tasks such as monitoring and providing 24/7/365 IT support so that internal IT staff can focus on the company’s strategic initiatives. It can also be that one party handles Tier 1 or general support tickets while the other party receives escalated or Tier 2 tickets when specialization is called for.
Additionally, it’s often the case that IT staff are frustrated with the internal IT infrastructure they have to work with, and that they get frustrated further when they call for the necessary improvements and are denied. For the sake of illustration, let’s say that they suggest implementing a hybrid cloud setup for the company. This pitch gets shut down because the organization lacks the budget for capital expenses.
In this case and many others like it, MSPs are not their adversaries, but their allies. IT service providers can turn this into an operational expense by offering the latest technologies through Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). In this way, IT teams are able to access state-of-the-art solutions with affordable monthly fees rather than committing their organization to a large capital outlay.
Won’t I get the same results if I just added specialists to my internal IT team?
That certainly is a possibility, but first of all, you’d be competing with everyone else to attract, hire, and retain top IT talent — and that can be a significant challenge. Secondly, hiring more people means limiting their workload with shifts, juggling even more holidays, and providing competitive compensation and employee benefits.
However, when you partner with an MSP, all staffing costs and concerns are handled by that MSP. This means that you enjoy cost savings plus all the benefits of having IT specialists without any of the headaches that would’ve come from hiring them yourself.
Are you saying that I should just fire my IT staff and outsource all IT services to an MSP instead?
Not at all! On the contrary, we’re saying that an MSP can be a big boon for your IT department and your business as a whole. With an MSP bolstering the capabilities of your IT staff, you can make your company more agile as well as scale its operations faster than you would if you stuck with internal hiring processes.
So what else? What other advantages can I get with MSPs?
IT departments, especially small teams, are really busy, and this can create tunnel vision, where everyone focuses on the issues and infrastructures already present within their own respective business environments. That is, they can:
- lose touch with the latest IT innovations and regulations
- become limited in their IT experiences
- resist or delay the adoption of new IT solutions as these will mean unfamiliar changes to systems and infrastructures
Professional MSPs, by nature of their service to a number of different organizations and industries, offer a far wider view and draw from a deeper well of experiences across applications, operating environments, and security scenarios. This “seen-it-all” experience can be used to supplement and support your existing IT staff as they encounter new challenges within their day-to-day environment, plus it can be tremendously beneficial when it comes time to make changes due to growth, security concerns, competitive pressures, or compliance requirements.
Finally, professional MSPs are in the business of IT, and must continuously demonstrate their value to their customers. One of the primary ways that’s done is by regularly upgrading skills through certification and recertification on existing and new technologies. Many companies are challenged by training, sometimes because of cost, but more often because of time — they simply can’t afford to have their IT staff out of the office for days at a time. Top-tier MSPs make certifications a top priority, meaning you’ll get everyday access to IT specialists trained on the very latest technologies, equipment, and techniques.
MSPs are not in opposition to IT departments. Talk to our experts at XBASE Technologies Corporation to discover how our Exponentially Better™ IT services can support and enable your IT staff and help your organization achieve its goals and dreams.
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